Wright, Brown reach state tourney
Entering the Northeast Regional Wrestling Tournament as the District 11 champ, Caden Wright had his eyes on his next goal for the season: a regional title. Although he had to settle for a silver medal last weekend, he has one more week to make up for it.
Wright and teammate Peyton Brown both qualified for this weekend’s PIAA Championships in Hershey’s Giant Center. Wright took second place at 160 pounds, while Brown was fourth at 106.
“I’m really excited to be going to Hershey,” said Wright. “My goal this year was to win districts, win regionals and place at states. I came up one match short of winning regionals so now I have to place at states to make up for it.”
Wright opened the tournament with a 14-0 major decision over Archbishop Wood’s Liam Jones, the fifth-place finisher out of District 12. The Emmaus sophomore beat District 2 runner-up Ron Grevera (Crestwood) 6-0 in the quarterfinals and knocked off District 12 champ Angel Garcia (Mariana Bracetti Academy) in a semifinal bout that went to overtime at 1-1 before Wright came up with a 3-1 win to clinch the state tournament qualification.
“We battled pretty hard,” said Wright. “I knew that I wanted it more. In overtime I went for it and I got the takedown.”
The regional final was a rematch of last week’s district final. This time Bethlehem Catholic’s Mikey Lewis was able to finish the match despite his injured shoulder and picked up the 6-5 win.
“I thought I wrestled good as a whole,” Wright said of the regional tournament. “I think in that finals match I could have pushed myself a little harder.”
After making his first trip to regionals, Wright, who is now 30-5 this season, heads to his first state tournament not only looking to place, but also to gain experience for the next two years.
“I think it’s going to help a lot because it’s going to boost my confidence,” he said. “And even winning districts and taking second at regionals to a senior that’s not going to be here next year, that boosts my confidence a lot. I could own the district and region next year.”
Brown came into regionals as the runner-up from District 11 and beat District 2’s fourth place finisher, Austin Fashouer (West Scranton), 6-0. The Hornet junior then beat District 12 runner up Dante Iuliano (St. Joe’s Prep) 7-1 in a quarterfinal match before falling to District 2 champ Dave Evans (Tunkannock) 9-2 in the semifinals.
Brown won a consolation match 6-0 over Delaware Valley’s Joseph Porco, but lost to Liberty’s Tal-Reese Fleming in the third-place match, 2-0.